# Magic-spellers.

The February issue left off the solution to Norwich Bumstead's "My Favorite Magic" puzzle. Here is a resolution. The questions.

1 Hawthorne's red letter

2 UFO pilot

3 Indian greeting

4 Signaling speed unit

5 First appearance

6 Abbot on first (two words) (alternate clue) Wall Street?

7 Self-love (var. O.E.D.)

8 Political philosophy

9 Certain caterpillars

The answers:

Each of the nine answers uses only the letters of Norwich Bumstead.

1 A

2 ET

3 How

4 Baud

5 Debut

6 Bud who? Or Dow hub?

7 Narcism

8 Centrism

9 Inchworms

The answer can be placed in a semimagic square. Bud who? A Centrism Narcism Debut How ET Inchworms Baud

Every row and column can be rearranged into the magic constant "Norwich Bumstead"! It would be impossible to include the main diagonals also.

This is one example of what we choose to call "magic-spellers", a puzzle that usually will take a slightly different form. The "magic" will always refer to a magic square and our idea starts with the famous 3x3 LoShu square of ancient China.

3 8 1 6 2 3 5 7 1 4 9 2 a b c

The magic constant sum on the rows, columns, and two main diagonals is 15 using the numbers 1 through 9. The "spell" begins with these words:

3 Hex a Her 2 Eve b Nee 1 Few c Set

Notice that these six words contain exactly one letter frosm each spelled-out number in its row or column. For example, la contains an F (from Few) and an R (from Her) to clue FourR. The clues read across and down crossword style.

When we offer a puzzle the numbers will not be given, only the clue words and the solver is expected to fill in the numbers.

Here is an unusual example:

3 2 1 a b c

3 Its c Not 2 Tex b Her 1 Hoe c Vi

This square uses the numbers 1 through 9 as before but each row, column and two main diagonals sum to a different number.

Two more examples that are a bit larger.

(I.) Albrect Durer's 4x4 magic square that will be 500 years old next year.

SORE FLEE NEXT OTTO EVER OVER TEST HIVE

(II.) A 5x5 square with constant 65 from "Card Tricks & Puzzles", Berkeley and T.B. Rowland, 1892, Geo. Bell and Sons. They claim that there are 42 ways to find the sum 65.

SEVER FOIST TORTE TETON WROTE INERT TWEET FEINT EXERT TENET

9 8 7 2 1 6 3 4 5

16 2 3 13 5 11 10 8 9 7 6 12 4 14 15 1

6 18 5 12 24 15 22 9 16 3 19 1 13 25 7 23 10 17 4 11 2 14 21 8 20

There are many millions of magic squares and most could yield "magic-spellers".

Jeremiah Farrell

Indianapolis, Indiana

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Author: | Farrell, Jeremiah |
---|---|

Publication: | Word Ways |

Geographic Code: | 1USA |

Date: | May 1, 2013 |

Words: | 640 |

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